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Extension > Family > Parents Forever™ > For families > Resources for families > Taking Care of Yourself > The Financial Side of Family Transition > What Happens to Your Property and Debt?

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The Financial Side of Family Transition

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What Happens to Your Property and Debt?

Madeleine Alberts, Children, Youth and Family Program Leader; M. Kathleen Mangum, Sandra Syverson, Barbara Radke, and Minnell Tralle, Extension Educators — Family Resiliency


One of the many decisions you'll need to make during your family transition is what happens to your property and debt. The easiest way to deal with property division during a legal dissolution is for you and the other parent to decide how to divide the property yourselves. However, because most couples aren't able to amicably decide how to deal with property division issues, the matter usually ends up in court.

There are two basic ways to handle property division.

Note that when courts divide marital property, that does not necessarily mean the property is literally and physically split. A court will usually add up the total value of the marital estate and grant each spouse/partner a percentage.


Bean, P. (2008). "I due" characterizing debt in marriage dissolution. Bench & Bar of Minnesota, 65(3).

Minnesota Judicial Branch. (n.d.). Common questions about real estate and divorce.

Minnesota Judicial Branch. (n.d.) What to expect: Divorce in Minnesota.

Related resources

Real Estate in DivorceMinnesota Judicial Branch — Understand the definition of "real estate," get the Minnesota real estate forms, and an overview of when to get an attorney involved.

Credit issues with divorce — Reviews things to consider related to credit and divorce.

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